So on Monday we went out to Santa Monica and Venice Beach. It’s one of the main tourist attractions so we figured we probably should see it while we were in LA, plus there is an ale house at Venice beach that I wanted to go to.
As usual, we caught public transport out there. There is a freeway express bus, Number 10, which goes straight from Downtown, onto the freeway, then onto Santa Monica Boulevard. You can also catch the 720 bus from Wilshire St. That goes all the way down Wilshire, all the way to Santa Monica also. We had no problems with the busses and it takes about 40min to an hour to get there, depending on which bus you take, and how bad the traffic is.
Once at Santa Monica we went for a walk along the famous Santa Monica Pier. I’m not sure how old it is, but it is definitely an impressive structure with a mini theme park, including roller coaster, arcade, carousel and a few other attractions. We also had a few pics taken with us and a big python which was kinda cool.
We then walked along the beach boardwalk to Venice beach. It’s probably about 1km but is an easy walk and it was a nice day for a stroll along the beach. You can definitely tell when you hit Venice beach, the buildings are a little more grimy and there are A LOT of crazy hippie people with stalls set up along the walkway. Art, craft, music, legal marijuana, piercings, tattoos, pretty much anything alternative you can imagine, it’s there.
Chrissy absolutely loved it, and we went for a walk right along, past the famous Muscle Beach Gym and pretty much just people watched and laughed at all the crazy people (LA is famous for its crazies).
We also stopped at Venice Beach Ale House, where you can sit outside and enjoy a few nice brews and some good food. They have about 15 permanent micro brews on tap plus another 10 or so taps that rotate between other beers. The service here definitely wasn’t great, but they were constantly busy across the 3 or so hours we were there, so I guess they can get away with poor service. Anyway, more importantly, the beers I tried were:
- Strand Brewing’s (http://www.strandbrewing.com) 24th Street, which is a fairly standard pale ale. Nice malty start and a slight bitter/hoppy finish. Nothing amazing, but still a solid beer
- MateVaze (http://www.mateveza.com/) Morpho. I had absolutely no idea about this beer but the bar chick said it was unlike any other beer I would ever have, so I had to try it. A quick look at their website shows it is made with Yerba Mate which is a South American caffeine type leaf. The beer itself was indeed unique. It’s also brewed with hibiscus flowers and bay leaves and trust me; if you have had this beer you will know no other beer in the world tastes like it. It is a deep red colour with a smell of ginder to it. In the middle it has a smoky, burnt wooded flavour and then has virtually no hops or bitterness on the back of the palate. This was my favourite beer of the day due to it’s uniqueness
- Also tried a Green Lakes Organic Pale Ale, by Deschutes (http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/brew/green-lakes-organic-ale) and a Kona (http://konabrewingco.com) Classic American Pale Ale with were both solid but nothing much to report on, especially after the difference of the Morpho.
Picture below of me in my Liive Vision (http://www.liivevision.com) sunnies enjoying the 24th Street